When we were booking our flights to Cuba we had a number of options, all included a stopover as there was no way to fly direct to Havana. We could fly to Amsterdam with KLM, Paris with Air France or Toronto with Air Canada Rouge. Prices varied between the three options as did stopover times. Having decided that a 1hr stopover in Paris was a little too adventurous we opted for Air Canada which incorporated a 12hr stopover in Toronto on our way home. Initially we had hoped to be able to visit Niagra Falls, however after speaking to a representative at www.niagraairbus.com we were convinced it wasn’t possible, stressing about getting back to the airport for our flight to Dublin wasn’t how we wanted to end our holiday! Here’s what we got up to during our stopover…
Having landed at 11:30am with our return flight not leaving until 11pm we knew we had enough time to get into the city and do some exploring. The Union Pearson Express train links the airport to the downtown area of Toronto. It only takes 25mins and there is a train every 15mins with a return ticket costing $24. On the way into Toronto there is one thing that is immediately visible from every approaching angle (even from our plane when we were coming in) and that is the CN Tower.
At over 550metres tall the CN Tower is an amazing building and in 1995 was declared one of the modern seven wonders of the world. For $35 you can take the elevator up 114floors to have an unrivalled view across the city. From this height you can see how truly vast Toronto is, people look smaller than ants from this height! For the braver among us you can walk across a glass floor, trying to take a selfie at that height was a new experience! For us this was worth the trip into Toronto alone.
Right next to the CN Tower is Toronto’s Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Anyone interested in marine life or aquariums will find this building fascinating. I haven’t been to an aquarium for years but I loved this experience. They have an impressive variety of sharks and animals such as sting-rays and tortoises there, including a cool walkway underneath one of the bigger tanks. I think the photos will do more justice than my description ever could.
As I have cousins working in Toronto we met with them for dinner before taking the train back to Pearson International Airport. It was nice to learn a bit about the city from locals and meant that by walking a few blocks away from the main tourist area we could have a nice dinner somewhere off the beaten track we might not have found otherwise. We also got to sample what we were assured was the “best pizza in Toronto” in North of Brooklyn Pizzeria and as a big pizza aficionado I’d have to agree.
After that it was a short hop back on the train for our flight home to Ireland. Not a bad way to spend 12hrs!
Darragh & Kate